The Delaware County Recorder of Deeds Office now offers a free real estate fraud protection tool called FraudSleuth®which provides Delaware County real estate owners with automatic alerts to help them guard against real estate fraud.
FraudDetective® is a software-based monitoring tool that alerts landlords when a document, such as a mortgage, deed, or mortgage satisfaction, related to a specific parcel is registered under that parcel’s ID. Similar to how credit monitoring services track consumer purchases and payments, FraudSleuth tracks properties and automatically alerts owners to possible fraudulent activity.
FraudDetective® is currently being used by many counties in Pennsylvania as local governments struggle to combat the upsurge in real estate fraud and increased calls for assistance from residents.
“Although it has been relatively rare in Delaware County, various other jurisdictions have seen an increase in title theft and deed fraud over the past two years,” explained Robert A. Auclair, Esq., Recorder of Deeds. “So as a proactive protective measure, our office has made this free monitoring service available to all homeowners across the county.”
To start using FraudSleuth®owners should visit the Recorder of Deeds Online Services website, accessible at delcopa.gov/acts, and create a profile for the property they want to monitor. Profiles are quick and easy to create, requiring a limited amount of information, including the owner’s name, parcel ID number, and an email address (where the owner wants their alerts sent). If an owner wishes to monitor multiple properties, multiple profiles will need to be created; one for each property.
To create a new profile from the Recorder Online Services website:
- Create a new user account
- Click on “Preferences”
- Click on “Configure FraudSleuth Profile”
- Click on “Add profile”
- Enter profile details (including your name and package ID)
- Click “Save” to complete the process.
When a document is registered against information registered with the Delaware County Recorder’s Office, the email generated by FraudSleuth will include matching data, including document type, document reference number, document and the date/time the corresponding document was saved. The document can then be viewed on the Recorder of Deeds’ online services website.
Residents should be aware that an alert does not mean that fraudulent activity has taken place. Legitimate transactions involving the owner, bank, and other entities will also trigger an alert, and it is the owner’s responsibility to monitor alerts and take action if the activity is suspicious.
If the Owner receives an alert regarding activity that appears to be fraudulent or suspicious or inaccurate, the Owner may contact the Delaware County Recorder’s Office at 610-891-4152 or contact the County Criminal Investigation Unit of Delaware (CID) at 610-891-4161.